|2014 Vauxhall Insignia Release date, Specs, Price, Pictures|
Available as a five door Hatch, four door Saloon and Sports Tourer estate, the new range now starts at just £16,279, nearly £2,000 less than entry into the outgoing line-up. There are four new engines including: a 99g/km 140PS 2.0 CDTi offering large cost benefits to fleet and high-mileage drivers; an all-new 1.6 SIDI 170PS Turbo; and a new 250PS 2.0 SIDI Turbo petrol. Existing diesel units have also benefited from refinement improvements.
Since its launch in 2008, the Insignia has largely dominated the mid-size sector and launched the eye-catching design philosophy that has permeated through all subsequent new Vauxhalls. The Insignia's classic exterior lines remain for the new range, with only subtle enhancements made to its styling, but inside there are important changes to the car's instrument cluster and centre console design, as well as improvements to its control-functionality.
The New Insignia range comprises eight trim levels starting with Design, and going up to Elite. There are also two trims - Energy and Limited Edition - which package generous equipment levels popular with retail buyers. And a further two trims - Design and Tech Line - that package comprehensive levels of equipment for company car drivers.
The biggest change existing Insignia customers will see when they sit in the new car is a completely re-designed centre console and instrument cluster. The centre console has been simplified and now has fewer buttons for more intuitive operation of common functions, such as air conditioning and infotainment, while the instrument cluster has new dials and a fresh, high-tech look.
Optional across the range is an 8-inch screen infotainment display (up from 5-inches in the outgoing range) and a new, upgraded instrument cluster with an 8-inch, high-resolution colour display. The cluster incorporates two outer dials showing fuel and revs, while in the centre sits a speedometer that can be displayed in analogue or digital form, or changed to show functions such as smartphone or audio use, or navigation.
The 8-inch infotainment display has touch-screen functionality, allowing drivers to access all functions and sub-menus such as radio stations, song titles, smartphone connection or 3D navigation in an intuitive and safe way. Its illuminated, touch-sensitive surface reacts immediately to finger movements, with even individual letters and numbers being accessible via this method. Up to 60 favourite menus can be stored from all functions and Apps can also be downloaded via the car's Bluetooth-connected internet.
Starting at the front of the car, the high-gloss chrome grille is wider and lower than before. The logo-bar that cradles the Griffin badge is thinner and includes winglets that link with the re-designed headlamps. On Elite models, these feature bi-xenon lamps with AFL (Advanced Forward Lighting), which is optional on all other models.
Standard headlamps are trimmed in high-gloss black with chrome-embedded accents, with the up-level AFL lights getting a 'wing-signature' daytime running light with energy-saving LEDs.
The lower front fascia inserts are designed to appear slim and wide to emphasise the upper grille size. Fog lamps are combined with wide, black inserts and chrome accents, which grow in width as they near the cabin.
In profile, the New Insignia range's Hatch and Saloon models are better defined through their unique tailgates and rear spoilers. The crease line on the C-pillar of the Hatch fades out before it reaches the spoiler's trailing edge, giving it a classis coupe silhouette. On the Saloon, the crease line continues along the edge of the spoiler to emphasise the body's length.
At the rear, the New Insignia range models appear wider and lower. The high-gloss chrome logo bar has been positioned lower on the tailgate. It extends into the tail-lights and incorporates the slim-look reversing lamps. The tail and stop functions of the two-piece tail-lights are illuminated by LEDs throughout the range.
Across the New Insignia range, there have been improvements to the car's ride and handling. Damper and anti-roll bar settings have been revised for better ride and control, while the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system standard in all but the VXR models has been reprogrammed for improved feel. Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels have also been reduced for enhanced occupant comfort.
The New Insignia range's powertrain line-up has been broadened still further with the addition of an all-new petrol engine and new derivatives of the existing 2.0 CDTi unit.
Now available with a choice of three power outputs - 120PS, 140PS and 163PS - the New Insignia range's 2.0 CDTi engine offers drivers ultra-low C02 emissions of 99g/km (76.3mpg combined) for the lower two outputs and 114g/km (65.7mpg combined) for the higher output unit (figures for Hatch models). But performance hasn't been compromised, with even the 120 and 140PS models producing up to 320 and 370Nm of torque respectively, and the 163PS model up to 380Nm.